Vaccinations - what do I need to know?

(21 Posts)
judefawley Fri 28-Dec-12 16:35:13

I feel I should get him vaccinated against leptospirosis as we live in a very rural, marshlands & river area and have a river in our garden, so his risk of exposure may be higher than the norm.

I am wary of the rest though; I don't want to do him more harm than good as he's not yet 2.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 28-Dec-12 16:19:43

Whilst testing titres and only vaccinating when needed would be the gold standard way of proceeding the cost also has to be considered.
In most practices testing the titres is going is going to be at least twice the cost of vaccinations and then you will still need a lepto vaccination.

poachedeggs Fri 28-Dec-12 16:01:00

jude heart murmurs are incredibly common in dogs, such that by 12 years of age over 85% of dogs will have one. It's effectively a normal change associated with ageing, although certain breeds are predisposed to severe MVD.

I work in an area with very high numbers of unvaccinated dogs and yet I still see several dogs with murmurs each day.

I also see plenty fully vaccinated dogs who have no heart murmurs (including the 13 year old and the so-old-we've-lost-count dogs either side of me on the sofa).

Common things are common and it doesn't mean we can associate them with other things.

judefawley Fri 28-Dec-12 15:51:46

This is so interesting.

My dog has a low grade heart murmur. My vet surgery is hassling me to get his boosters done. I was not in any hurry because of my experience with our old dog, but the heart issue has really made me wary of it.

poachedeggs Fri 28-Dec-12 15:07:13

We cross posted, I'm sorry.

I was just giving an example.

skullcandy Fri 28-Dec-12 14:55:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

poachedeggs Fri 28-Dec-12 14:22:41

That's not a reference, skull. That's what a website says about what somebody said about what somebody else may have advised for dogs with advanced MVD.

I don't think you can really take that and call it evidence not to vaccinate your dog.

On another note I should also have mentioned that high titres won't differentiate been vaccine-induced antibody and disease-induced antibody. So your dog with high titres might have actually been exposed to the disease and been fortunate enough to avoid severe illness. eWe know this happens - in dogs being exported to Australia, which have not been vaccinated against lepto for a matter of years, rising titres are sometimes found. This has happened to me on a few occasions, and I had a dog fail the export process as a result of this earlier this year.

skullcandy Fri 28-Dec-12 14:14:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 28-Dec-12 13:56:39

Skullcandy your reference largely flies in the face of the Quest study the largest ever undertaken veterinary study involving over 2000 dogs multicentre, multicardiogist and multicontinent looking at survival factors in mitral valve disease in all breeds of dogs. I would suggest a good read of this excellent well planned, well managed and well executed study.

skullcandy Fri 28-Dec-12 13:36:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tinselahohoho Fri 28-Dec-12 12:58:10

This is all very useful - thank you all for taking the time to post.

I've booked her in for Monday and will be asking some very well-informed questions grin.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 28-Dec-12 11:51:56

I agree with everything Poachedeggs has said. The other things is your own vet will have knowledge of your local situation and this will help you make your decision.
If you are having immunity tested it is really important that they check Parvo 2b strain the universities do this, but some other labs still test for Parvo 2a which is not the currently active strain.

poachedeggs Fri 28-Dec-12 10:59:07

Any vet can test titres as it's only a blood test, although not every lab can carry out the testing. I send mine to a university lab.

I'd love to see a link to evidence of your claim re MVD skull.

skullcandy Fri 28-Dec-12 10:51:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

poachedeggs Fri 28-Dec-12 10:34:24

Annual vaccinations are only necessary for leptospirosis and kennel cough. The other diseases are only boosted every third year because the current evidence on most vaccines is that they reliably provide immunity for that long. Please note that one dog having high titres after several years is not classed as evidence. Animals, like humans, vary widely in their response to vaccines so there will be some who don't need such frequent vaccinations and others who should have more frequent vaccinations. Your vet can titre test for some of the diseases if you're worried.

Lepto is a bit different in that it is IMO a poor vaccine anyway, and it is not usually caught from contact with other dogs but picked up from the environment instead. So dogs walked in areas where there are waterways, farm buildings, cattle or rats really should be vaccinated annually against it.

As always, the best thing to do is talk it over with your vet, rather than rely on dubious internet sources. Your vet should take your concerns seriously and address them to your satisfaction.

All this is moot if you need to use boarding kennels, whose licence is conditional on accepting only vaccinated dogs and who will usually kennel cough vaccinations in addition.

judefawley Thu 27-Dec-12 20:40:38

I don't know enough about it tbh, but our current dog who's 2 in March has only had his puppy set of jabs.

And the vet I spoke to at the specialist vet hospital (reckoned to be one of best in Europe) certainly wasn't an advocate of yearly vaccinations for all dogs.

tinselahohoho Thu 27-Dec-12 20:29:46

That's what I've heard jude - and that it's testing of immune levels that should be pushed for, not blanket vaccinations.

Thing is, when you look it up, the only stories you're likely to hear I guess are the ones which say it's all a conspiracy, so I'm now worried that I'm only getting one side of the story . . . and that's without the 'microchips give them cancer' sites shock.

judefawley Thu 27-Dec-12 20:26:22

When she was about 9, iirc, our dog had to stay overnight at a vet hospital.

Her immunity was tested prior to admission (titer testing, they called it).

She had only ever had her puppy vaccinations.

Her bloods showed her immune levels were still at the correct levels. So yearly boosters would have been needless.

Floralnomad Thu 27-Dec-12 20:20:44

Definitely get kennel cough ,not sure if it protects from all the strains ,but its horrible if they catch it.

WhenSantaGotStuckUpACunnyFunt Thu 27-Dec-12 20:18:57

Afaik they need their yearly booster vaccinations, I've never read anything bad about them though.

tinselahohoho Thu 27-Dec-12 19:55:44

Just what it says really - dog had everything when she was a puppy and her booster after that. She's now 2 and has had nothing since, largely through some things I read here about the efficacy (or lack) of them. However, for dog boarding, up-to-date full whack vaccinations seem to be required. Will I harm her if I get them done, or am I being mad not to have them done in the first place anyway? Thank you!

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